Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

When it comes to winning races that count, there is hardly a better sprinter than Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce.

In eight global finals, since she won her first Olympic title in Beijing in 2008, the Pocket Rocket has won six. She demonstrated that mettle once again on Friday night when she won her fourth national 100m title against a strong field on day two of the Jamaica National Championships in Kingston.

The two-time Olympic champion stormed to victory in 10.71, the second-fastest time run by anyone this year, only bettered by her world-leading 10.63 run at the same venue on June 5.

Using her explosive start to her advantage, she got away from the field that was unable to close as she flashed across the finish line.

Second was Shericka Jackson, who surprised everyone when she clocked a big lifetime best of 10.77 to win her semi-final just over an hour before. She ran an equally impressive 10.82 holding off the 2016 double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson-Herah, who was third in 10.84.

Briana Williams, who at 19, was the youngest in the field, finished fourth in 11.01, which earned her a place at her first Olympic Games.

There was also another surprise in the men’s 100m as Tyquendo Tracey ran 10.00 flat to edge Yohan Blake 10.01 and an ecstatic Oblique Seville, who ran a personal best 10.04 for third and booked a spot to his very first Olympic Games.

There were two runaway winners in the 400m hurdles but the more impressive of the two was Jaheel Hyde who clocked a lifetime best 48.18 to win and also exceed the Olympic standard of 48.90, which means he is also going to Tokyo this summer.

He punched the air as he crossed the line and saw the flash time on the electronic clock on the infield.

Second went to Sean Rowe who stopped the clock at 49.60, just ahead of Kemar Mowatt, who was third in 49.61.

Janieve Russell ran away with the women’s race to win in a season-best 54.07.

Ronda Whyte was second in 54.94 while Leah Nugent was third in 54.98 in a close finish that saw Shian Salmon finish fourth in 55.00.

Stafanie Taylor and Reneice Boyce will lead the West Indies Senior Women’s team and the ‘A’ team, respectively for the three CG Insurance T20Is against Pakistan Women from June 30 to July 3, with the West Indies Women’s ‘A’ Team also playing their historic, first-ever, three-match T20I Series on the same dates.

William Knibbs and Emily Mayne are the early leaders after Thursday’s opening day of the Jamaica Golf Association's (JGA) National Senior Trials at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course in St. James and the Caymanas Golf Club in St. Catherine.

Shericka Jackson set tongues a-wagging on Thursday night when she ran a new personal best to advance to Friday’s semi-final of the 100m at the Jamaica’s National Championships at the National Stadium in Kingston.

Yohan Blake, the 2011 World Champion and double Olympic silver medalist showed glimpses of the Beast, as he also advanced to the semi-finals of the men’s 100m with the fastest time.

Jackson, 26, a 400m specialist, clocked 10.91 and was the fastest among the women. That takes some doing considering that the preliminary round also featured four-time world champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who cruised to victory in her heat in 10.97.

Elaine Thompson-Herah, the 2016 double Olympic champion also looked to be in incredibly great shape as she won her heat in 10.96.  Briana Williams, 2018 World U20, was also a picture of good form in winning her heat in 11.00.

Also among the 16 women advancing to the semi-finals were Natasha Morrison, who was second to Jackson in 11.06 while Shian Hyde was a distant third in 11.50.

Sashalee Forbes advanced from Fraser-Pryce’s heat having run 11.13, close to her personal best of 11.10 while finishing second to the two-time Olympic 100m champion. Remona Burchell, the 2014 NCAA champion, showed the form that made her champion clocking 11.14, a brand new season-best and her fastest time since she ran 11.07 in 2017.

Natalliah Whyte (11.13) and Shockoria Wallace (11.22) advanced from Thompson-Herah’s heat while Kemba Nelson ran 11.05 and Kevona Davis (11.19) advanced from Williams’ heat.

Briana Williams, the national U20 record holder at 10.97, showed that she will not be outrun by anyone cruising to an 11.00 clocking to also advance from Heat 4 along with Kemba Nelson (11.05) and Kevona Davis (11.19).

 Ashanti Moore (11.15), Kashieka Cameron (11.28), Jodean Williams (11.45) and Schillonie Calvert-Powell (11.53) are also through to Friday’s semis.

Meanwhile, Blake looked like the sprinter of a decade ago when only Usain Bolt was faster when he eased to a 10.03 clocking to win his heat. Davonte Burnett was the second-fastest through to the semi-finals when he won his heat in 10.05.

Burnett, whose father is Jamaican, grew up in Massachusetts and attends the University of Southern California. He was fifth in the NCAA Division I finals in 10.19.

Julian Forte and Oblique Seville both looked good while crossing the line together in their heat in 10.08, similar to what happened in the opening heat with Tyquendo Tracey and Nigel Ellis, who were both credited with 10.13.

 Romario Williams, who clocked 10.27, also advanced from that heat.

Also advancing to Friday’s semi-finals were Senoj-jay Givans (10.20), Oshane Bailey (10.26), Andre Ewers (10.22), Bryan Levell (10.25), Jelani Walker (10.32), Michael Campbell (10.25), Ashanie Smith (10.25), Jevaughn Minzie (10.27) and Ramone Barnswell (10.32).

The Jamaica Olympic Association and Jamaica’s Sports Minister Olivia Grange praised Veronica Campbell-Brown for her outstanding career as Jamaica’s decorated athlete.

Reigning sprint queen Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has paid tribute to Veronica Campbell-Brown, who announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday on the eve of her bid to qualify for a sixth Olympic Games.

The 39-year-old VCB, the only woman to win a medal in five consecutive Olympics, in a post on social media said the time had come to hang up her spikes.

“As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town, Trelawny, walks away happy and contented with a race well run,” VCB said in her post, indicating that a career as a mother, entrepreneur and motivational speaker awaits.

In response, Fraser-Pryce, who like VCB is a two-time Olympic champion, thanked the track and field icon, who has helped pave the way for so many other Jamaican women.

“Thanks for leading the way @VCampbellBrown!! Carrying the torch and continuing the legacy for Jamaica,” the Pocket Rocket tweeted Wednesday.

Fraser-Pryce was a member of Jamaica’s team to the 2007 World Championships in Osaka, Japan where she was a relay alternate. However, the following year, VCB effectively passed the torch to Fraser-Pryce when the latter booked her place on Jamaica’s team to the Beijing Olympics, by finishing second at the national championships in Kingston, clocking 10.82.

VCB was fourth in 10.88.

Since then, Frater Pryce has been Jamaica’s leading female sprinter winning Olympic 100m titles in 2008 and 2012 as well as four World titles in the 100m.

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce is set to make her first appearance in a Diamond League race in Oslo on July 1.

After a stellar career spanning more than two decades during which won 49 international medals, Jamaica’s beloved track queen Veronica Campbell-Brown has decided to hang up her spikes for good on the eve of her country’s national championships to select a team to the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

“As I take off my spikes never to put them on again, this girl from Clarks Town, Trelawny, walks away happy and contented with a race well run,” the two-time Olympic 200m champion and one of the most decorated female athletes in history, posted on Instagram earlier today.

As a junior, the now 39-year-old Campbell-Brown won gold medals for Jamaica in the 100m and 4x100m relay at the inaugural World U18 Championships in Bydgoszcz. The following year, she won the sprint double at the World U20 champions and with the performance, the hearts of her fellow Jamaicans.

Also, among the 27 gold medals she has won during an outstanding junior and senior career, VCB, as she was affectionately known to her millions of adoring fans, became to the first Jamaican woman to win a 100m world title when in Osaka, Japan. It was only one of three gold, seven silver and a bronze medal she would win at those championships to go along with three Olympic gold medals, three silver and two bronze medals.

She also won two gold medals at the World Indoor Championships.

“As I climbed, I passed the rung of hurt, that of injuries and rejection, not to mention tears. However, they quenched my aspiration to grasp the fruits of success and satisfaction. For that I must venture to say that I am proud and grateful,” she said in her farewell message.

“I want to thank the persons and companies who contributed to my success; my family, especially my husband Omar Brown who in the latter years served as my coach. I must mention friends, fans and supporters, sponsors, coaches and my agent @ontrackmgmt. I could not have done it without your help and support. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

VCB, who gave birth to a daughter, Avianna, two years ago, did not indicate why she decided to retire at this particular point in time.

She competed in eight 100m races this season, the last at the NACAC New Life Invitational in Miramar, Florida where she ran her fastest time of the season, 11.20 to finish fifth.

 

 

 

“We are sorry!”

Those were the words of Captain Kraigg Brathwaite after the West Indies humiliating 158-run defeat to South Africa inside four days at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St Lucia on Monday.

The West Indies, resuming from their overnight score of 15 without loss in pursuit of 324, were bundled out for 165 thanks mainly to the bowling of left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who took 5-36, including a hat-trick that saw the home side slide from 104-3 to 104-6.

Kagiso Rabada was also among the wickets, taking 3-44 as the West Indies batting one man short, fell for 165.

Kieran Powell, who scored 51, Kyle Mayers 34 and Kemar Roach and Jermaine Blackwood, who scored 27 and 25, respectively got into double figures.

Brathwaite, who made scores of 0 and 6, laid the blame squarely at the feet of the batsmen, himself included, for the poor performance of the team who did not score more than 170 runs in any of their four innings. The batting was especially embarrassing coming off much better performances against Bangladesh in Bangladesh and the home series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

In the first Test, the West Indies had scores of 97 and 162 and followed those weak scores with 149 and 165 in the second Test capitulation. Confronted with that reality in the post-match media conference, the disappointed captain could not hide from the truth.

“As batsmen, we know we went wrong. We didn’t bat well,” said Brathwaite, who revealed that they had planned to bat better and having consistent partnerships during the series against the South African bowling attack but said they have to come back better for the next series.

“We are very sorry. Obviously, the fans look forward to the West Indies doing well and we were disappointing,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s not about winning but you still want to see the fight and we didn’t show the fans that fight. Myself included, we have to come back better and make the fans proud.”

 

 

 

 

 

Danusia Francis got a good warm-up for the Summer Olympic Games this weekend while competing for Xelska in Spain's Liga Iberdrola in the city of Gironella.

The undisputed king of the track Usain Bolt and his queen Kasi Bennett have welcomed two new additions to the family.

President of the Jamaica Gymnastics Association has described Alana Walker’s historic bronze medal performance in women artistic gymnastics at the Junior Pan Am Gymnastics Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday as a major boost for the sport locally, one that could help the association generate desperately needed funding.

The 14-year-old Walker scored 49.850 to finish third in the All-Around – bars, beam, floor and vault - that was won by the USA’s Katelyn Jong with a score of 54.10.  Her compatriot Madray Johnson scored 53.550 for second place. It was the first time that Jamaica has ever won a medal in gymnastics at a major event.

By winning the bronze medal, Alana, who is coached by Ashley Brooke Umberger at North Stars Gymnastics in Boonton, New Jersey, automatically qualifies for the Junior Pan Am Championships in Colombia later this year.

Grant, who spoke to Sportsmax.TV from Panama said this victory provides the push needed for the sport to continue to grow locally.

“Every appearance at any international competition of this nature is always a boost for the sport, that is what we thrive to be a part of and that is why we are working on our programme to ensure that we can participate and compete effectively as a country, as young as our sport is locally,” Grant told Sportsmax.TV today.

“This major win for us is very important to the growth and development of our local sport because it shows that we have the ability and the capability to do well in gymnastics.

“This is also a major boost for our young gymnasts who are preparing for a youth competition in Colombia later this year, the Pan American Age-Group Hopes Tournament where the age-group levels are from age eight right up to age 14 and she will also be competing in the elite category as well.”

Notwithstanding these achievements, Grant said, the sport continues to face significant obstacles.

“Our setback is equipment, landing equipment, something that we have been campaigning for, for some time now and it’s very important because when someone like Alana comes to Jamaica and trains at the gym, the landing equipment is not good enough at this time because of the kind of skills that she or he has,” Grant said.

“And that is why we are working so hard because when our elite athletes come to Jamaica they are in awe of the gym but as it relates to the landing aspect, it’s just not up to the standard and it’s really dangerous for them to train their high-level skills.”

Grant thanked the Jamaica Olympic Association, which she said, did not hesitate to provide funding for the trip, despite the ‘last-minute request’.  She also thanked Alana’s parents, who “have always been there and have put out a lot of effort to ensure that she got the documentation in order for her to compete at the event.

She also expressed her gratitude to Marlene Hylton-Williams, who was instrumental in helping Alana getting the license that allowed her to be able to compete and Naomi Valenza, who allowed Alana’s late entry to be accepted into the tournament.

  

Paul Hall has been appointed assistant coach to Reggae Boyz Head Coach Theodore Whitmore for the Gold Cup and the duration of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

Texas A&M’s Charokee Young plans to arrive at Jamaica’s national championships next week refreshed and ready to secure a spot on Jamaica’s team to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Manchester City Women have announced the signing of Jamaica’s Khadija Shaw on a three-year deal, subject to the approval of a work visa and international clearance.

Shaw, 24, arrives from Bordeaux in France where she scored 22 goals to win the Golden Boot Award in the Women’s First Division.

“It feels amazing to be a Manchester City player. I chose this club because I want to be a part of the environment, the culture and to play for this amazing team,” she said. “I want to be tested and there is so much experience in the team here, so I know I will learn a lot from everybody around me. I grew up as a City fan, and I even have some family members who live in Manchester. When I told them about my move, they were so happy and excited.”

Goal.com had reported in April that the player was close to a deal with Manchester City, which was looking to add depth to their forward pool and provide their head coach with different tactical options.

The player took to Instagram last week to announce that she was leaving Bordeaux but there was no confirmation as to where she was headed.

That confirmation came today with the club’s announcement.

Naturally, head coach Gareth Taylor was delighted with the signing and welcomed the Jamaicans to the club, who plays in the Women’s Super League in England.

"She's enjoyed a successful couple of years in France with Bordeaux and the fact that she finished as the league's top scorer this past campaign speaks volumes about the calibre of player that she is,” he said. “Her form on the international stage is incredibly impressive too and we're very much looking forward to working with her over the coming seasons."

 

 

 

 

The forward arrives from Bordeaux after scoring 22 goals in 20 league

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